Round Trip Distance: 4 miles
Elevation: 6220 - 6361 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 2 hrs.
Trailhead: Todie Canyon
Fee: $2/person $5-$8/camping
Attractions: cliff dwellings, scenic views
Todie Canyon is located in the Grand Gulch Primitive Area of Cedar Mesa west of Blanding, Utah. The descent from the mesa down into the canyon makes it one of the more difficult trails providing access to the Grand Gulch. After doing several of the other canyon hikes in the area we decided that for this post we would find something that was a little easier yet still providing scenic views of the canyons and their cliff dwellings. The results were a nice trail that follows the south rim of Todie Canyon all the way to the Grand Gulch.
The Todie Canyon trailhead is about 41 miles from the town of Blanding, Utah. To get there drive south on US Highway 191 for about 4 miles and turn west onto UT-95 toward Natural Bridges National Monument. Follow UT-95 for 28.4 miles and turn left onto UT-261. Continue south for 7.5 miles and turn right at the sign in this photo. After turning onto UT-261 you will pass the Kane Gulch Ranger Station where there is a small Visitor Center and restrooms that are accessible 24 hours.
After turning onto the Todie Canyon Road it is about 1.2 miles to the trailhead. The road should be suitable for vehicles with moderate clearance during dry conditions.
For the most part the trail is easy well defined and easy to follow.
After a short distance the trail reaches an area of slickrock near the head of Todie Canyon.
Cairns make the route easy to follow over the slickrock stretches of the trail.
If your goal is to hike down into Todie Canyon then watch for a cairn around the 0.7 mile point that marks the spot where the rugged descent begins.
Continuing along the rim trail it is best to stay close enough to the edge of the canyon to be able to see the south facing ruins in the alcoves below.
A pair of binoculars and a zoom lens come in handy.
The seam in the cliff has numerous very hard to reach granaries and other rooms that run the length of it.
The trail splits around the 1.2 mile point with both routes looking equally worn. We followed the route that stayed closer to the rim on the way to the junction of Todie Canyon and the Grand Gulch and on the way back we took the other fork.
Doing so allowed us to see a few more ruins from a good angle.
The views of Grand Gulch from the rim are pretty impressive near the confluence of the two canyons.
There are more ruins to be seen stretched out along the west side of Grand Gulch.